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Letters to Parents - School Update

Dear Families,

As we approach the end of term I want to update you with some important information around Welling School life and also looking ahead to next term.

Leadership Recruitment

I said I would come back to you with more information about plans to recruit to the Headteacher role at our school. I am now in a position to share with you the plans moving forward.

The school will be advertising for two Head of School roles. One role will be Head of School - Academic Standards and the other Head of School - Culture and Engagement. These brand new roles will form a cohead model. Both colleagues will work closely with the Executive Headteacher to affect rapid and sustained school improvement and ensure the highest standards of behaviour, attitude to learning and outcomes. The Executive Headteacher will assume ultimate accountability for the school's performance and standards. The Heads of School will assume full responsibility for the day to day running of the school, ensuring high standards and expectations, delivering improvement objectives and for ensuring compliance with school policy and procedures. Recruitment will begin immediately. I am planning that interviews will be early next term. I will contact you as soon as I have further information.

School Improvement Strategy:

It is clear to us all that we have some way to go in our school improvement journey - specifically in relation to the behaviour and attitudes of a significant minority of students when in and around school. As a leadership team and school staff body we are all committed to ensuring rapid impact on raising standards in this area as a priority. Although we have not yet received the final report, verbal feedback from inspectors during our recent inspection suggested that this is an area of the school they will ask us to improve - and we agree.

We need to take time to plan and review how and what needs to be done so that we support those students who are well engaged and behave well and also develop the ability to do the same in those that do not. It is inevitable that we will need to make more difficult decisions about some students’ future at Welling.

This level of planning and development needs time with staff to clearly communicate expectations, ensure clarity on what needs to be achieved and also to collaborate in action planning. To that end the Trust (TKAT) has given the school permission to create additional development time, as a one off mechanism to help us do this. Tuesday 19 April will now be an INSET day. Students should return to school on Wednesday 20 April at the usual time.

The school has not yet received the final inspection report. As soon as we do I will share it with you. I will then be inviting parents to a parent forum and information event where we can discuss the content but importantly where I will be able to detail to you the school’s improvement plan.

There are some things we will be putting in place from the start of next term - particularly in re-establishing high standards of attendance, punctuality and uniform. Mr Hemsley, Deputy Headteacher will be in touch with you to outline these next week.

Local Elections - Polling Station

As you know the country will be holding local elections on 5 May 2022. Welling will be used as a polling station for the local community to vote. We have no choice in this. In order to provide the necessary facilities for voting and maintain a secure site that fits safeguarding requirements we have to close off large parts of the school meaning restricted access for students and a reduced curriculum for the day. This can be extremely disruptive. To ensure a smooth learning experience for students we will be asking them to work on-line and at home that day and the school will be closed. Ms Sangster, Deputy Headteacher will be in touch to provide exact details before then. Year 11 Modern Foreign Language Exams scheduled for this day will go ahead on site.

COVID-19 Precautions:

Thank you for your support with helping us to reduce Covid cases in the school community. Mr Loizou wrote to families last week detailing the measures we have put in place in school and how you could assist us at home. Although staff absence has been high we have been able to maintain face to face education and avoid having year groups working at home. Our numbers have gradually declined over the week and I am hoping we will be able to maintain face to face education next week. Please continue to ensure your children test regularly and that in the event of a positive test they still follow the 5 day period away from school as per Bexley and TKAT guidance for schools.

Parents Evening:

Thank you to Year 10 families for your support when we had to take Year 10 parents evening on-line this week. We would much prefer to conduct these events face to face and hope that future parents’ evenings will be in school.

Wishing you and your family a good end to the week and thank you for your continued support.

Yours faithfully,

Daniel Hatley

EXECUTIVE HEADTEACHER